leaving facebook, use python to inform your friends on how to contact you

2011-09-30

As I am proceeding with my MSc course in Software Engineering, and my studies begin to focus in the field of Productivity, I’m beginning to think about my own productivity. I already posted about how to detox from Facebook without using its usefulness, but it seems not enough. Moreover, the new directions of Facebook with its Frictionless Sharing make emerge many issues related to privacy. The new Timeline profiles introduce so many stupid ways of announcing stupid events in which nobody is interested (you will be to announce to your friends that you broke your leg, say when and where it happened and attach a picture of your broken leg - yay) and will fill your Feed of tons of uninteresting posts. For this and so many other reasons, I am leaving.

But could a software developer leave Facebook without a personal epic gesture? Of course, not. I developed a tiny Python program that I used to post a message on each of my Facebook “friends” wall. In this post, localized in Italian if they have Facebook set in Italian (in English elsewhere), I put the many other ways for contacting me. This program, called FacebookGreeter, is an opensource project released on my website. It is also my first project released under the WTFPL License - (Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License). Feel free to download it and study how authenticating a Python program in Facebook works - using the official Python SDK.

A wall post looks like this one:

Dear John Doe, because of the current and future ways FB will handle our privacy, I decided to unsubscribe. I hope to stay in touch with you: e-mail/Google Talk: d AT danielgraziotin DOT it mobile: +393400788910 Skype: dgraziotin Twitter: @dgraziotin Best Regards (Message sent automatically)

I am currently waiting a couple of days to be sure that all my ~450 Facebook “friends” read the wall post I sent. Then I will completely delete my Facebook profile. This is different from deactivating the account. Facebook will then DELETE the whole contents related to me. Meanwhile, as time goes, I am realizing how many stupid things people do on Facebook - including myself. But we fear leaving Facebook. We fear to loose contact with people, to be excluded from events. Just think about this: did you have friends before opening a Facebook account? Do I really have 450 friends? No. Now they all have the opportunity to contact me. If they “forget” me, then screw them, they are not really friends. By the way, I am sure that nothing will change. I will continue to hang out with the (surely much less than 450) persons I used to. Because they care of me. And I will never waste precious hours on that website.

Do you know how do I feel now? I feel like I’ve just left an obsessive, intrusive girlfriend. I feel free. Look at this beautiful Youtube video:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/watch?v=8UouP8cRYZ8

What it’s interesting about this event is that more than 10 Facebook friends are now leaving FB, too. Many other contacted me in order to know something more about my farewell reasons. Please note that I did not ask anybody to leave Facebook.


I do not use a commenting system anymore, but I would be glad to read your comments and feedback. Feel free to contact me.